As a business owner, you always have one eye on your bottom line. That is why you dread the problem of scope creep emerging on a job in progress. It has always been your goal to make sure that every client is satisfied with the work your company does. But you know there are always a few who will try to get more than what they want to pay for (and more than you agreed to provide).
Read on to learn how you can head scope creep off at the pass before your profit margin erodes.
Communicate clearly at all junctures
Whether you are speaking directly to the clients, subcontractors or anyone else involved with your project, use clear, concise language. Avoid using phrases like “maybe” or “we’ll see.” Sending follow-up emails summarizing the conversation and the intended course of action stabilizes your position should there be future problems.
Have ironclad contracts signed
Here is where your business law attorney can really save the day. Drafting a solid contract with no wiggle room is a major way to prevent scope creep. When a client approaches you for any changes, pull out the contract and point out what is and is not included.
Should they insist on minor changes that will not affect your budget, it is fine to throw in a couple of extras to encourage goodwill in your client. But if their request is something that is wildly expensive or will cause delays that eat away at your profits, insist they initial any change orders — along with the price increase.